OK, I’m not ashamed to admit it; I’m going to do a little begging.
Since Aaron Rosenberg, Steve Savile, and I launched ReDeus over at Kickstarter, we’ve been delving deeper into our world building and our three series. Every time we get into the creative elements, the trio gets very excited.
Then we look at the Kickstarter page and realize that after a month, we’ve managed just 10% of our goal, largely achieved through one kick-ass patron of our art.
We’re looking to raise $15,000 which would enable us to build a website, start writing while building a subscription base, produce some merchandise and make certain Kickstarter gets their cut of the action.
While $15k is a significant number, the beauty of Kickstarter is that you can contribute as little as $1. We’re not looking for a handful of big contributors but a small army of modest supporters, people who would like to read our stories.
According to The New York Times, 46% of projects achieve their goal and the average contribution is just $25. Since it launched a year ago, the company has grown by leaps and bounds. Just this week, Newsarama profiled comic book creators who have benefited from the site.
So, on behalf of Aaron and Steve, this is me begging for some support. We have two more months to raise the money we feel we need to properly get off the ground. Go ahead, click on the image to the right. A reminder, if we don’t raise the $15,000, no one pays a nickel.
My popularity as a delegate to the Connecticut State Convention has continued over the last few weeks. I continue to hear from the larger and better organized campaigns, the candidates themselves personally call, and the conversations I’ve been having were interesting.
And yet, I remained uncertain who I wanted to support for Attorney General or Secretary of the State.
On Sunday, that was finally resolved after attending the Candidates’ Forum here in Fairfield. Conceived and organized by Matt Waggner and Pam Jones, we had two of the three AG candidates and four Secretary candidates. Unlike other events, the Democratic Town Committee solicited questions, boiled them down, and then had them posed by Jean Sturges, a member of the local League of Woman Voters. The answers were limited to two minutes apiece and each person was given a three minute period to offer final comments.
I had hoped for a larger turnout, but those who did attend that rainy day got a really good chance to hear the candidates off script, answering the tough questions. One candidate, Gerry Garcia, noted they were the hardest questions yet posed at any similar event.
First up were George Jepsen and Susan Bysiewicz. Cam Staples ignored repeated invitations and didn’t show up. Susan continues her battle in the courts to be declared eligible for the office and her public miscues have certainly tarnished her rep. On the other hand, I enjoyed her vibrant personality and answers. I was interested in how little the two differed on matters, making this more about personality.
We then heard from Garcia, Jonathan Harris, Denise Merrill, and Andy Garfunkel, drilling deep into how they envision the Secretary of the State’s office working in the future. They discussed business filings and election matters, the core elements of the office. Here, there were differences in what was emphasized and what experience each would bring to the office. By the end of the discussion, I knew who I wanted.
Deb attended as well, giving me someone to share my thoughts without feeling as if I was lobbying or open to additional lobbying from fellow delegates. She had agreed with my choices, which was encouraging. Now we just need next month’s convention to arrive.
As for the governor, I am leaning towards one candidate. Of all the big ticket names out there, I find it interesting I’ve heard nothing from Dan Malloy, former Stamford mayor and the last Democrat to challenge Governor Rell for the office. Whoever wins the nomination has a strong battle ahead, especially with the rudderless, leadership-less mess we’re currently in.
Long time readers may recall my taking a gastronomic road trip with my friend Matthew in January 2009. Well, on Monday, he asked if I’d be willing to accompany him on a shorter run, to and from Virginia. As you know, I’ve had a slow patch of work so the timing couldn’t have been better.
I drove down to Long Island late Wednesday morning, loaded the trailer with Matthew and we drove south. Along the way, we stopped in New Jersey at a random diner, had a fine lunch, flirted with Melissa the cute waitress, and proceeded south. With the traffic and rain, we didn’t hit Winchester, VA until 9. By the time we checked in and decided we were hungry, we wound up having a late dinner, feeling as if I was back on Spanish time.
Thursday we went to the storage unit and unloaded. Matthew had some other business in the area and once that was completed we went into nearby scenic Winchester. There is an open-air mall, stretching several blocks, and we wound up at the Snow White Diner. The place appears to be a local legend and has served classic grilled food at slider sizes for decades. As a result, we could order one of this and one of that and sample the stuff. The burgers were quite good and I liked the pulled pork sandwich.
After wandering Winchester, we got into the car and toured the environs for the remainder of the day. That night we saw Kick-Ass at the Alamo Alehouse Cinema, an independent multiplex. You buy your tickets out front, head in and are faced with a fifteen-plus foot bar with beers, ales and other libations. No traditional concession stand but each theater is equipped with nice leather chairs, short tables and a full bar menu, including the traditional movie fare. You write your order on a slip of paper, hand it to the waitress and she’ll bring the food. Service runs throughout the film but just as things get exciting, they come to deliver the bill, and you have to divide your attention between the movie and paying before the credits roll. Nice concept, but certainly distracting.
Everything good you heard about the movie is true and everything negative you’ve heard about the theme or violence was clearly written by people lacking in perspective. The movie was tremendous fun and Mark Millar and John Romita, Junior are two very talented—and fortunate—men.
Apparently, this portion of Virginia likes to close their restaurants between 9 and 10 so we drove around for nearly an hour seeking a non-chain restaurant to have dinner. We wound up back at the hotel, wandering across the street to Glory Days, a regional chain.
Our final day began with collecting the trailer, buying peat moss to help weigh down the trailer, and letting Matthew take care of some business. By 10, we were finally en route for home. We made a brief detour to check out a West Virginia flea market where I bought a collector’s item – an empty tin that once had Prince Albert in a can. Yes, I now own the subject of a once popular prank phone call. We drove to Allentown and bought lots of comfort food at the Farmers Market. Had lunch there then hit the road, hitting Friday rush hour traffic all through Brooklyn and Long Island. We got to their house around 7, unloaded quickly then took the trailer back, picked up pizza. I ate, repacked my food purchases and drove home, finally walking in at 10, in time to watch K-Rod pitch the 9th inning in a satisfying Mets win.
All in all, a nice break from the routine, certainly nice to help a pal.
I’ve been working pretty steadily on pitches while I await getting back to work on the Who’s Who. The process has certainly been an interesting one since this is the first time I’ve concentrated primarily on spec writing as opposed to fitting it in around other work.
The results have led me to finally submit a YA book series proposal to an editor who sounded interested when I first mentioned the notion to her back in November. The idea first cropped up for another publisher years back (which folded before anything real happened) and it has languished in various stages of completion ever since.
I’ve also been working on several graphic novel pitches for European publishers resulting from my trip to Spain last month. One has gotten as far as character sketches from the artist I’ve been partnered with, and two days ago I worked out sample script pages. I’m told the proposal needs to be a one-page synopsis, a thee-book breakdown of the story, and several sample pages of storytelling. It was fun writing the script pages, which are now with the artist.
Interestingly, that same artist drew two pages of an idea from his imagination and didn’t know what to do with them. A French publisher saw them and was intrigued but asked about the story. Fortunately, the artist’s agent sent me the same pages and an idea began form immediately. I did the two sentence version, which the artist liked, then fleshed it out to a 200 word synopsis. He likes that, too, so now I have to polish it for the publisher and see if he likes it.
A third idea needs the page breakdowns and sample script pages written.
ReDeus continues to seek backers and I find myself doing more work on promoting the idea than I expected. In the meantime, I have also worked out the overall story for my character and how she may dovetail with the other two series. Aaron Rosenberg, Steve Savile and I also talked about a big event towards the end of year one which got us very excited so we’re hoping circumstances allow this project to live.
In the meantime, galleys for The Essential Superman Encyclopedia have arrived and this morning I just finished H so am making progress. Ace researcher John Wells has been helping my editor, Chris Cerasi, with additional graphics so this book should look real spiffy when you see it in August.
The only real writing (that is, for pay) I’m doing is for Fairfield’s Patch and the response and traffic has been gratifying. As a result, my columns are slowly moving from weekly to semi-weekly and my editor has approved about eight concepts so I’m good to go.
On Wednesday night, we bid farewell to Betty Suarez and began learning the truth about Christopher Chance. Both Ugly Betty and Human Target ended their seasons and it’s a good time to reflect on their accomplishments.
Ugly Betty began as the Americanized version of the popular Colombian telenovela Yo soy Betty, la fea (I am Betty, the ugly). American Ferrara was cast as Betty and was never allowed to look as unattractive as the original, compensating with a loud, shrill voice and incredibly poor taste in wardrobe. The show was largely a fish out of water story as she went to work as administrative assistant to the playboy publisher of Mode, the iconic fashion magazine. Often the glossy façade of the magazine, its staff and its audience was contrasted with the more humble immigrant roots of the Suarez family.
Across the four seasons, the worlds grew closer and closer, meshing more often than they probably should have, so in time seeing Daniel Meade in the humble Queens home looked as natural as Betty’s garish sister Hilda looked hanging out at the Mode offices. All too often, the seemingly simplistic Suarez family taught the Meades and their satellite friends lessons, but never were lessons learned in the reverse.
The show played fast and loose with reality, with perhaps the greatest fiction being how a magazine and magazine empire were really run. It was cheerfully over-the-top and for the most past remained happily in that rarefied air.
Thankfully, when the ratings slid hard this season, ABC gave showrunner Silvio Horta plenty of notice so all the dangling plot lines could be tidied up. You could feel the closing process begin weeks ago, especially with encore visits from former regulars. Betty had to complete her journey, grow up, and move on, achieving her dream. The final hour rushed a few threads to an odd conclusion, and then let everyone say farewell. WAIT! There is more to read… read on »
Yesterday proved to be a packed day that left me falling asleep in front of the TV by 8:30 p.m.
After prepping in the morning for the later afternoon, I got myself ready for the Democratic Town Committee’s Century Club Brunch. This is the Fairfield DTC’s annual fundraiser where we use the opportunity to honor two of our members. One receives the Eunice Postol Award fro public service while the other receives the Denise Dougiello Young Turk Award.
Rather than a local country club, we held the event at the relatively new Fairfield Café which was a good choice given the size of the room and quality of the food. Some 100 people milled about, hobnobbing, pressing the flesh, eating, drinking and having a swell time. Since this was a captive crowd, many of the major candidates for public office made a point of stopping by and filling our agenda.
I have to tip my hat to candidates to state office, driving across the state for months on end, attending DTC meetings and major events such as this one. One candidate, Gerry Garcia, told me the event was the second of four on his calendar for Sunday alone. People are putting over 10,000 miles on their car during the season without ever leaving the state.
Being the largest DTC in the state, and one of the most active, we have traditionally been graced with the presence of our Attorney General, Dick Blumenthal; Secretary of the State, Susan Bysiewicz; and state comptroller Nancy Wyman. They were here once more given their personal connection to Postol honoree Mitch Fuchs, who stepped down as DTC chair after an unprecedented eight years.
With Mike Tetreau emceeing, things moved smoothly and various gifts and citations were presented mixed in with the candidates speaking about the honorees and promoting their candidacies. Many took the time to also acknowledge the sad passing of Selectman Ralph Bowley, who had died Saturday night after a nine month battle with cancer. A staunch Republican, Ralph was noted as a true Fairfielder who was liked by all. WAIT! There is more to read… read on »
This is one of those weeks where there have been plenty of professional frustrations and it’s forced me to stop writing and to give things a long hard think.
We launched ReDeus at Kickstarter last week and after a flurry of pledges, there’s been little activity in the last few days which has me concerned.
Additionally, a graphic novel pitch got turned down while a young adult novel pitch was read by a pal and both said they were good, but not good enough. They both lacked that extra something.
My first thought was to give up fiction altogether and concentrate on non-fiction but then I realized how much I like writing fiction. I don’t want to give up on it but do need to up my game a bit. And that’s what I’m focusing on today.
The first example of that is a GN pitch I’m developing for Europe where I need to train myself to tell stories in 46 pages with 7-11 panels per page. It creates different rhythms and I need more story, allowing me to see what I can do to make this more engaging.
I’ve lost some time wallowing in bad thoughts for the last few days and now need to get back in the saddle, so to speak, and try again. I’m actually looking forward to it.
The good news as the week ends is that the galleys are coming in on The Essential Superman Encyclopedia and the pages are looking sharp. Better yet, we have time to update the entries so they will be current to the end of Blackest Night and the New Krypton saga, keeping the book more contemporary than I had hoped for.
The lobbying for my support has begun in earnest. As I stated recently, I am not yet committed to any one candidate for several of the offices. I know I like Richard Blumenthal for Senator but after that, I remain open.
On Saturday, I had a lovely 15 minute chat with Jonathan Harris, one of the candidates running for Secretary of the State while I received a voice mail from George Jepsen who would love to chat with me about why he wants to be Attorney General.
Last night, the Democratic Town Committee hosted an all-star lineup of personalities, all vying for our support. Apparent, the Fairfield meetings are Must Visit events given our sizeable attendance.
Ned Lamont made an excellent case for why he wants to be governor, complete with plans for making the state competitive for business. While I remain undecided, I liked what I heard.
We heard from Susan Bysiewicz, who explained why she switched from running for Governor to AG and how she feels the byzantine laws have complicated her quest. She fully expects the courts to declare her eligible to run.
Gerry Garcia, former New Haven Alderman, made a big point of being both Jewish and Latin American. He had some good things to say about why he wants to be Secretary of the State but used too many words, avoiding brevity in favor of volume. After he finished, he worked the room, trying to get people to commit their support while the meeting was continuing.
Mary Glassman, First Selectwoman of Simsbury, also discussed why she wants to be Governor but without the same level of specificity. Many in the room were already favoring her so I need to learn more.
Warren Mosler wants to be my Senator in Washington. His rambling talk was more of an economics lesson, explaining away all of our financial problems as bookkeeping and digital legerdemain so we really nee dot focus on things other than our runaway federal and state deficits.
Some of these and no doubt others will stream through the Democratic Town Committee’s annual Century Club Brunch on Sunday.
Yep, I think I’ll be a popular guy until the various conventions wind up in May.
Aaron Rosenberg and I have been pals for some time now, and we’ve partnered with our mutual overseas friend Steve Savile to try something new. We’ve created a new reality and each of us will be writing stories set in this future world. These stories will live on a website and we’re going to try a subscription model to see if this can be sustained.
But first, we need to build the site and begin writing, and this requires some seed money. Steve suggested we try Kickstarter, a place where creative projects can gain micro-support from people who either support the arts in general or really like the project. Normally, you have 90 days to raise funds and if you match or exceed your goal, you get the money. If you fall short of your goal, every investor gets their money back.
ReDeus has begun seeking funding. Read all about it at the link and see if you’d like to be in on the ground floor of something new. We’re certainly excited about the potential in both the concept and the business model.
There is a blog over on the project site and we’ll chat about our progress there and share some of that on our respective sites no doubt.
Come June 30, we’ll see if enough people share that enthusiasm. Yesterday, less than an hour after going live we had our first donor which was rather encouraging.
And shortly thereafter, we look forward to announcing the launch of the ReDeus site itself.
There’s something new in Fairfield. It’s a green growing patch on the World Wide Web and it’s all about us, our town, and our people.
The Patch is a series of community-themed websites with tons of raw data about the town along with a steady stream of articles, columns, and pictures. It has a nifty community calendar that will not only tell you about events but provide a handy map to show you where they are being held.
Andy Brophy, late of the Connecticut Post, is Fairfield’s Patch editor and he kindly invited me aboard to be a weekly columnist. My assignment is to write about any and everything as long as it is non-partisan. With five columns written so far, I feel pretty confident that goal can be achieved. Once we get past the currently posted introductory piece, I’ll be walking people through the budget and bonding along with some thoughts on Smart Boards and a chat with Karen Ronald, our new Town Librarian.
I strongly recommend all Fairfielders to bookmark the site or sign up for the RSS feed so you can keep tabs on the town’s doings.